Monday, March 12, 2012

The Probe

Weird glass tubes, a Science-Fiction essential as well as something commonly reported by UFO abductees. Note the pyramid.

The Outer Limits continues to haunt me. Last night I watched a dreamlike episode titled The Probe. It was first aired on January 16th 1965.

This unsettling episode begins with an airplane crash into the pacific and its crew awaken in a weird vacant room. The sequence where this small team tries to figure out where they are is wonderfully creepy. All of it done on a sparse set with minimal special effects. I feel strongly that modern film-makers (with giant budgets and computer generated special effects) simply couldn't capture the eerie mood in this modest teleplay.

But more than anything, I just loved that this episode had spooky glass tubes. This corn-ball imagery of women trapped in glass tubes was something Mac Tonnies dearly loved! The definitive collection HERE.


A pulp fiction standard image, the beautiful woman trapped in a glass tube.

This is a drawing done by an abductee in 1978.

What struck me was how many plot point in this episode mirror what gets reported in the UFO abduction literature. I'll simply list them in bulleted points.
  • A weird empty room with rounded walls.
  • View screens with an odd set of symbols.
  • Another view screen: "...in 4 or 5 dimensions."
  • A Betty Hill type star map (implied in the dialog, but not seen visually).
  • Distorted memories.
  • A craft with a sterilized antiseptic interior.
  • The alien presence is taking ocean samples and analyzing them.
  • The abductees being trapped in a chamber and washed with a strange liquid.
  • The woman in the episode gets a strange glowing tube pushed up against her belly button area. This sequence is overtly sexual, and seems to mimic some of what gets reported by female abductees.
  • The episode is titled The Probe, and when the craft is shown rising above the ocean it looks a lot like what gets reported as a "probe" by present day witnesses.
  • Abducttees will occasionally tell of walking unattended within a craft, these stories seem to have a claustrophobic nightmare quality.
Christopher Knowles wrote a 3-part set of posts about the mystical insights of THE OUTER LIMITS and Bruce Rux does a 3-part interview on the same subject. Both these geniuses have better skills at this, but its fun to try and tap into this meme.

The screen writers, Seeleg Lester and Sam Neuman wrote The Probe as well as the only two-part Outer Limits episode, The Inheritors with Robert Duvall. This episode deserves it's own post with the aliens abducting mind-controlled children as the government tries helplessly to stop whats happening.
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The full episode of The Probe.
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2 comments:

Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Mike,
I don't know whether you've seen this You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGUnqnttwg0&feature=player_embedded#!

(or should that be You Tubular.-)
clip titled
"Posthuman Blues : Tubular",which I found on the "Post-Mac Blues" blog,which is dedicated to Mac,by the looks of it and has all drawings of women in tubes.Just like you are writing about here.

Maybe you should tag it on to this post?

Red Pill Junkie said...

That sign in front of the three characters --the 'writing' seems awfully similar to the alien text described by Brazilian abductee Antonio Villas Boas.

Which is strange because that case was (I believe) popularized in the United States until later than 1965.